Renault Sport Formula One Team’s preparations for the British Grand Prix got underway today at Silverstone. Nico Hülkenberg had a productive day with 56 laps completed over the two 90 minute practice sessions. Seventh best time in the afternoon demonstrated the qualifying potential of the R.S.17. Jolyon Palmer’s start to his home event was slightly more interrupted, but he nevertheless got 41 laps under his belt with a best time of 1min 30.879secs.
Alan Permane, Sporting Director – Technical programme notes
• In FP1, Jolyon used Pirelli’s Medium (white) and Supersoft (red) tyres, while Nico ran all three compounds available this weekend, Medium, Soft (yellow) and Supersoft.
• In FP2 both drivers used the Soft and Supersoft tyres.
• We ran through a standard Friday programme with tyre evaluation over long and short runs, plus a qualifying simulation in the afternoon. Additionally we evaluated a new floor and conducted lots of starts.
• Jolyon was unfortunate to lose some running in the morning. He also ended his afternoon session early with a clutch problem.
What we learned today:
• It’s wild and windy down the straights, which can make finding the right balance tricky.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.17-04
Free practice 1: P17, 1:32.171, 19 laps
Free practice 2: P7, 1:29.936, 37 laps
Nico: “We had two okay Friday sessions with no major issues today. Amongst the work accomplished was the running of a new floor this afternoon. We now need to analyse and see what it has done for us. Regarding the pace, we need to do some work to find a bit more balance and performance overall, especially in the long runs. This means a bit of preparation work for us between now and tomorrow’s qualifying, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.17-01
Free practice 1: P18, 1:32.450, 16 laps
Free practice 2: P18, 1:30.879, 25 laps
Jolyon: “I missed half the morning with an MGU-K shaft that needed replacing, but when I did get some running in I was pretty happy with the car. The afternoon started okay and I was happy with the car on the Soft tyres, but when I put on the Supersoft tyres I found there wasn’t any grip. I had a spin and then struggled to get them working correctly. Unfortunately then we had to stop the car on a long run with a clutch problem. We will hope for better luck tomorrow!”
Bob Bell, Chief Technical Officer: “A slightly mixed afternoon for us. Nico got in the running he needed to do and we got the information we needed on the tyres for the race. He set a good time on low fuel, which we hope we can reproduce in qualifying. We’re pleased with that and the progress we’ve made. Jo had a slightly less fortunate day with his clutch problem in the afternoon, on top of the mechanical issue in the morning, and never got a fair crack at a time. Overall for the team, I think we have had a productive day and look forward to qualifying tomorrow.”